Love What You Do by Arne van Oosterom

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Arne van Oosterom at the World Usability Congres 2014

Original –

This post is partly in response to a comment on my previous post, partly in response to a conversation I had with a friend about to leave a company she founded and partly because of my own restless mind.

I’ve been here before. Many times. Looking for what’s next. Being restless, need to keep moving. In fact this is part of what makes me what I am… being restless it is deeply ingrained into my DNA. I’m not sure if you can ingrain anything into DNA, but you get my point I’m sure.

In part my need to keep moving is caused by my inability to focus on one thing for very long, getting bored with something after I figured out how it works is a reoccurring event throughout my life.

But I also feel it is simply part of being a creative individual… my interest lies in exploring and creating things, not managing them after I found them or created them. This is why professionally I can only function well in a team with people who are able to pick up where I switch off. These people are a blessing to chaotic creative like me… I’m sure you’ll agree.

But I’m also aware I’m not alone in this. Probably you (yes you) feel the same way and this behavior is a very human behavior. I’m sure many human activities will show similar patterns. But then I’m not about to do any research… (if you have some please do share). Though I think we can see some similarities in falling and staying in love. I’m sure you’ll agree.

And when I decided to start my own company (leaving a company I worked for after 6 years) I wanted to create an environment where we could keep reinventing ourselves. This made business sense: e.g. the world & needs of our clients keeps changing, we advice our clients to be flexible and adaptable… so we should practice what we preach. But we also felt that we need to humanize organizations.

Although we sometimes seem to think companies are about processes, technology and money they really are all about people. Companies should create value for people. They are pretty malicious or at best pointless otherwise. I’m sure you’ll agree.

I think the new generation of people entering companies and trying to climb the corporate ladder will agree more than previous generations. The new generations have a new attitude toward work. Work is no longer about security. It is part of your personal development, your journey. How you make a living is part of your identity.

This changes the relationship between the companies and the people driving them. And an organization is really no more and no less than a group of people working together towards a similar goal. Getting the right people and keeping them is essential to any successful business and exactly this it is getting more difficult. I predict the changing relationship between companies and employees will result in dramatic change in how companies operate. I’m sure you’ll agree.

Relationships need constant attention. Smart companies will need to humanize their organizations. It’s all about love you know. If we don’t love what we do, we will look for something else to do. By continuously reinventing our organizations we all stay explorers, learners, keeping our creative energy high. Human centered companies should create environments where the organization is geared toward facilitating people to grow and flourish. Because love needs care and nurture.

I’m sure you’ll agree.